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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Abbrederis to return to practice today

MADISON - University of Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was expected to practice today, after suffering a head injury in last Saturday’s Badger win over Northwestern. 

Abbrederis took part in a light workout yesterday.  Coach Gary Andersen told the Big Ten’s weekly coaches’ teleconference that Abbrederis is ready to prepare.  He left early in last Saturday’s victory.  Andersen said yesterday he’s hopeful that the Badgers’ leading receiver can play on Saturday night, when the 25th-ranked Badgers go against Illinois in Champaign. The game will be broadcast on BTN at 8 p.m.  Also today, Andersen had high praise for Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez – who’s expected to be officially named tomorrow to a committee that will select the first four FBS playoff teams.  Andersen said Alvarez takes great pride in anything that has to do with college football – and he cares so much for the game because he wants to, not because he has to.


University of Wisconsin senior Jacob Pedersen is one of 29 players still in contention for the John Mackey Award as the top tight end in FBS college football.  Pedersen was part of the award’s pre-season watch list for the second year in a row, and was just named to a revised mid-season list.  Pedersen caught his 16th career touchdown pass for the Badgers last Saturday against Northwestern.  That ties him with Garrett Graham, now of the NFL’s Houston Texans, for the most touchdown catches by a Badgers’ tight end.  Semi-finalists for the Mackey Award will be announced November 18th, and the finalists a week later.  The winner will be announced on ESPN’s college football awards show December 12th.


Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy says he hopes corner Casey Hayward will be ready to play in Sunday’s home game against Cleveland.  Hayward has yet to make his regular season debut, after hurting a hamstring during the pre-season in August.  McCarthy says Hayward is frustrated, and he’s anxious to get on the field – but until now, he’s not been ready.  The coach says Hayward is going through his rehab segments today and tomorrow, and see what happens from there.  Hayward was able to practice the last two Thursdays, when the Packers normally have their only fully-padded contact workout of the week.  Hayward was Green Bay’s leader in interceptions a year ago, with six during his rookie season.  With the large number of injuries, McCarthy expects to shorten his normal Wednesday practice routine.


Ryan Stefaniak and Nate Ray, both of UW-Oshkosh, have been named the WIAC’s football players-of-the-week along with Jake Kumerow of Whitewater.  Kumerow, a senior receiver, caught 11 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns in Whitewater’s 55-13 romp of UW-Stout last Saturday.  Kumerow accounted for 64-percent of the passing offense for the 10th-ranked Warhawks.  Stefaniak, a senior linebacker, had a sack and two other tackles for losses as eighth-ranked Oshkosh topped La Crosse 30-6.  Ray, a junior kicker, booted three field goals against La Crosse – including a career-high 42-yarder. The WIAC also gave its weekly honors to Bob Shone and John Gottwald, both of Whitewater, in men’s soccer – Robyn Elliott of Oshkosh and Melissa Dunlavy of Platteville in women’s soccer – Megan Humphreys of Whitewater in women’s singles tennis – Jennifer Graham and Rachael Wabers of La Crosse in doubles tennis – and Crystal Ziegler of La Crosse in volleyball.